Wednesday, 26 March 2008 11:16 AM

New Zealand Waives Transit Visas Fee to Pacific Island Nations

Solomon Islanders wishing to transit through New Zealand for less than 24 hours will no longer be required to obtain a transit visa.

This came following an advice by the New Zealand High Commission that a new transit visa policy will come into effect, as of Friday last week.

The new visa policy will see travelers from most of the Pacific Island nations' transiting through New Zealand to other countries without needing a Transit Visa, said the Department of Labour, Service International Group Manager, Tofilau Kerupi Tavita.

Mr. Tavita said the exemption is particularly good news for Pacific citizens.

"Many of our Pacific neighbours transit frequently through New Zealand in order to visit most international locations. Removing the barriers to international travel is one way New Zealand expresses their commitment to the region," he said.

The changes mean that the following Pacific countries exempt from Transit Visas:

. Federated States of Micronesia
. Kiribati
. Nauru
. Palau
. Papua New Guinea
. Republic of Marshall Islands
. Samoa
. Solomon Islands
. Tonga
. Tuvalu
. Vanuatu

Mr. Tavita said people from these countries will no longer have to organise transit visas in order to pass through New Zealand.

The move follows the government's decision six months ago to waive the $120 fee for transit visas for Pacific nationals.